Crafters have been recycling and transforming cigar boxes for years, so when “gifted” with a box of chewing tobacco cans, I immediately began considering the possibilities. Each can, depending on the brand, is made from strong plastic, tin or heavy duty cardboard. In a landfill, their life expectancy could very well exceed mine. As a trash-to-treasure craft, I sure hope so. This project uses a tobacco can as the base for an Uncle Sam decoration that can be made as a hanging ornament or a bowl filler ornie. This project requires no sewing and minimal painting skills, making this appropriate for even the most novice of crafters.
Things You Will Need:
Chewing tobacco can
Red and white striped fabric
Navy blue acrylic paint
1-inch wooden star
Yellow acrylic paint
1/2-inch flat white button
Black acrylic paint
White fringe trim
Cut two 1/2-inch-wide by 36-inch-long strips of muslin. Longer lengths can be used, but they are not as easy to manipulate. If your scraps of muslin are not long enough, several shorter pieces can be cut to equal the lengths.
Apply craft glue around the sides of an empty chewing tobacco can. Apply craft glue to one end of one muslin strip. Place the end on the middle, bottom of the can. Wrap the strip around the can. Continue to wrap, changing direction with each wrap. When the entire strip has been wrapped, glue the end to the can. Add the remaining strip in the same way until the can has been completely covered.
Cut a 2 1/2-inch square from corrugated cardboard using a craft knife. Cut a 3 1/2-inch square and a 2 1/4-inch square from red and white striped fabric.
Place the largest fabric square wrong side up on your work surface. Apply craft glue to one side of the cardboard. Lay the glue side of the cardboard in the center of the square. Apply craft glue to the wrong side of the fabric that extends from around the cardboard. Fold the fabric over the edge of the cardboard. The glued folds are on the back of the cardboard.
Apply glue to the back of the cardboard. With the stripes running in the same direction as the first fabric square, center the remaining square on the back of the cardboard square. The cardboard is now completely covered. This is the top of Uncle Sam’s hat.
Apply navy blue paint to a Popsicle stick. Wipe off the wet paint using a paper towel. This technique will stain the wood. The stick is the brim of the hat. Repeat this process on a 1-inch wooden star using yellow paint.
Lay the covered tobacco can on your work surface. The side facing up is the front of Uncle Sam’s head (the face). Measure 1 inch down from the top of the face. Apply glue to this measured front section of the face. Center the square hat top on the glue section of the face, with the front side facing up and the stripes running vertically. Apply a horizontal line of craft glue on the bottom edge of the hat top. Center the Popsicle brim over the glue.
Apply two cheeks to the face using blush and a paintbrush. Glue a 1/2-inch flat button to the center of the face. Dip the blunt end of a wooden skewer into black acrylic paint. Dot two eyes above the button nose. Allow the glue and paint to dry.
Cut a 3 1/2-inch length of white fringe trim. I used the fringe from an old bedspread, but it can also be purchased at your local fabric store.
Apply a curved line of craft glue from the left hand side of the face just below the hat, continue to below the button nose, and then back up to the right hand side of the face and below the hat. Lay the bound edge of the trim in the glue. This is Uncle Sam’s beard. Allow the glue to dry.
If you would like to hang your ornament, punch a hole in the top-center of the hat and thread cord through.